Credit for Prior Learning

Bemidji State University follows the Minnesota State policy regarding assessment of prior learning for academic credit. The purpose of this policy is to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate university-level learning gained in non-credit or experiential settings.

View the current Minnesota State CPL policy

A student who has been fully admitted to Bemidji State University may request credit in the following situations:

Standardized exams

Standardized proficiency examinations are recognized by many BSU departments and include:

  • CollegeBoard Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level selected subsidiary level results and the diploma
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject examinations
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) subject standardized tests
  • CollegeBoard Scholastic Aptitude Achievement Test (SAAT)
  • Various military service school transcripts (DD-214 Forms).

No course may be repeated or grade raised by such an examination. Review CLEP test options here. AP/IB credit transfer requires a CollegeBoard transcript in most cases. Contact the Admissions office for more information (102 Deputy Hall, 218-755-2040,

Special course exam

Requests to take a special examination must be made to the course instructor. The opportunity to take a special exam is limited to students enrolled as degree-seeking. No grade may be raised or repeated by such an examination. Consult with your instructor and/or faculty advisor to see whether a special exam is offered. Nominal fees for preparing and evaluating exams, and awarding credits apply.

Evaluated prior learning

Prior non-college and experiential learning may be the result of a variety of life experiences, such as continuing education, work experience, or individual study. University credit is not awarded on the basis of prior/work experience alone, but for the achievement of documented college-level knowledge and/or skill.

The methods of determining either recognition or university credit are predicated on prior learning that is considered to be at a university level. Each department determines the criteria, if any, which if satisfied, will result in the awarding of university credit. The departments have the prerogative of determining which courses, if any, may be evaluated for non-college or experiential learning. Not all courses have an equivalent non-college or experiential learning counterpart. *Note: The BSU Business Administration department does not evaluate prior learning requests, but will consider standardized tests (CLEP, etc) for required major course substitution.

A student requesting prior learning credit must be fully admitted to a BSU academic program. Use the following form to start the request/evaluation process: Credit for Prior Learning Request Form.

Options for Veterans

BSU’s Veteran’s Assistance Center is the place to begin if you have learning experiences from your service to our country. The Resources page will help you get started, but we encourage you to work with the very helpful folks at Distance Minnesota as well. They are Minnesota State’s premier veteran’s education resource and support center.